Pussy Hats

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So I’m a tad late to the game here… I recently learned about the Pussy Hat Project after finding one on Pinterest. At first, I thought they were just a random animal-ear-wearing fad… But, I wised up when I discovered the actual Pussy Hat Project when they liked my new hat on Instagram {many thanks!}.

For the hat pictured in this post, I used a partial skein of Minty by Red Heart With Love [per their FAQ, Pussy Hats are meant to be pink, but mint was what I had on hand].

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My cat Fiction has a ‘shadow’ of another cat on his rear. His tail is also the shadow’s tail.

This is a very simple and quick work project to tackle. I also chose to sew the ears in so they would form to my personal liking. I found I much preferred this to leaving them ‘loose’. Inspired by Fiction’s ‘kitty shadow’, I added the detail of a bit of Pewter by Red Heart With Love to the inner ears.

Learn more about the Pussy Hat Project at their website. It’s truly an amazing cause — I wish I’d known of it earlier, but I’m so happy to have stumbled upon it now!

I’ve already worn my hat out and about in town, and received compliments and comments on it. Someone even asked to touch the ears, and I happily obliged.

Let me know what you think of the hat. Have you made your own Pussy Hat?

 

FP

I Need Less

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All my life, I’ve been so privileged to have everything that I do…

I arrived in Norfolk, Virginia in June of 2009 with a duffel of my summer clothes. A denim jacket, laptop with accessories and a favorite book were in my backpack. I thought the one bed, one bath apartment home I shared with my new husband was so spacious and airy. I loved it!  My previous bedroom had been tiny. And, as one does, I had collected stuff over the years. Finally. This was what I wanted. Elbow room. Less. Nothing to drag around with me that I couldn’t carry. Just myself and a few things I loved most in a place to call my own…

…and then the contents of the aforementioned tiny bedroom arrived in a small van. My excitement quickly melted into a weird misery. So many of these things I thought I had missed were just so… meaningless… I found myself going through the luggage asking, Why did I keep THIS?”

The most daunting realization was that many of these trinkets — even the necessary ones — had been gifts. And I didn’t want to hurt anyone by throwing out or giving away the gifts. Even if they were used or worn out.

Organized Chaos
I’ve sunk so much time and money into organization that it’s truly not laughable anymore. Because I have so many excuses for not getting out of the house, I don’t really associate with others. I want more… but I cannot reach it without less.

Getting Real
I’m annoyed and exhausted by clutter. The experience has been amazing. Only one thing has remained amiss. Whenever I clean our closet, I leave feeling accomplished, yet unfinished… There is so much there that I should jettison, but just can’t for excuses; none of which are truly acceptable.

Over time, I’ve become more and more annoyed, anxious, etc. by the clutter in our home. So I began searching for solutions. When I tell someone I’d like to just throw everything onto the lawn except those items that really matter, it’s not a passing fancy. I mean it. But I’ve never done it.

  • I don’t want to be an extremist
  • There are some things that I will never part with
  • There are other things I want to try to live without
  • And I want to set limits for myself so that I do not accumulate more
  • I want more time to be real with my family and friends
  • I want to give of myself in some way

Because if less is more and more is the American Dream, then I’ll strive to be the happiest, most fulfilled, giving person in a nation of fools. Wading against the currents.

 

FP

Dear Materialism…

Lifestyle

Do you love stuff? I love stuff.

Let me clarify: I don’t consider myself a materialist; however, far too often, I equate my ‘stuff‘ to ‘home‘. There is a sense of falsified security in the collection of an over-abundance. It’s time to break out of that comfort zone and step into a new (to me) reality.

I bought into the idea that my memories won’t be preserved if I give up a teddy bear I haven’t played with in over a decade. I’ve imagined the horrors of visiting loved ones demanding to see the birthday card they wrote me 15 years ago — because the faded cardstock will most assuredly prove our love.

So Long Farewell
Buyer’s remorse is rarely a problem for me. It’s allowing enjoyable things to overstay their welcome in my life. No more and never again… My time is too valuable to keep things I can no longer truly use…

Even those of sentimental value.

My struggle is not to remember the beautiful things I’ve beheld, but rather the desperation with which I cling to moments which have passed and the people with whom they were shared. But time changes us all; and the most selfish thing one can do to another is deny them their growth.

That said…

Dear materialism. Goodbye.

 

FP

Picture This

Lifestyle

Readers may have seen Avril and I by now. That’s us in the photo above. And if you scour Facebook and Instagram, you may find us doing a wide variety of “silly” things together, though I haven’t seen her in a few years.

I’m such a great friend, I’ll put myself in imminent danger of being stuck in a Wal*Mart cart for the sake of Kodak moments filled with laughter. Or screams. Depending on how fast Drew pushes the cart.

U

Photo Credit: Avril

In May 2012, we happened across a lone shopping cart far from the store it came from. We were so cracked up by it being in this random place, I hopped in for a few photos. Upon exiting the cart, I left my purse behind. We still laugh about that day. Fortunately, Drew is a gifted runner; he retrieved the purse, untouched.

 

 

U

Snapped in late November, 2011. Freshly dusted with flour from dancing while baking pizza.

We’ve many moments like this — times when things just made us laugh so hard that we had to get a picture. Technology has provided such amazing tools allowing us to relive special times in our lives.

It’s so easy to just put the camera button on repeat… click, click, click, click, click… but how much of the beauty we behold are our naked, camera-lenseless eyes missing for the sake of savouring it forever? How often do we exclaim that the photos “simply do not do the illustrious allure [of the subject] justice”?

So go ahead. Snap your photo. But hurry. Because moments are brief. Time is valuable. And if you’re truly afraid of missing out on the memory, maybe the camera shouldn’t be a factor. Hold the moment while you have it to hold.

U

May 2012, I visited Drew in Virginia as I was living with family in Georgia for several months after we were evicted in February 2012. I took this photo as I sat on the bus watching Norfolk recede into the distance. I didn’t hold my husband again until August 2012.

In love.
LaLa ~_<3

FP

My Why

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There are likely just as many [or more] reasons why as there are questions of why. And when I found myself in that place, I had no desire to remain trapped between them.

We know we’ve hit a rock bottom when we feel picture frames on the walls are a ‘need’; like having them means… something — only to find ourselves questioning their value. And I mean, really… have we asked the tough questions? Such silly people with our rules and standards and our faux requisites. Things we decided everyone “should” have or they’re just not at all well.

Clutter Forest – The ‘Lost’ Moments: 

One day, I looked around our room and told myself there was too much junk and clutter.  I didn’t even want to be there anymore.  I hated everything about the room.  Whatever happened to my dreams of building a home within our apartment rather than just moving in and saying I had built within it?  Where was the creativity when my sofa’s history went no further back than, “we were in the store and really liked this one!”?  I want to truly decorate.  Collect freebies, if I must.  But let’s restore it.  Let’s make something special or new… together… as a family.  Let’s create whatever ‘paradise’ means to us here on earth. Yes. Even if we fail sometimes.

The Turning Point:

That same night, I left our apartment in Norfolk, Virginia and drove all over town.  I went to all my favorite places, and took a friend so we could talk.  We went to the mall.  I probably bought some clothes.  We went to Barnes & Noble, where I probably spent even more money.  We visited WalMart, where I bought a few furniture pieces so I’d have somewhere to put my clutter forest.  When I arrived home, I sighed wearily as the final shopping bag hit the bed.  I looked around the room…

…and immediately wanted to return every item I’d just paid for.

Final Notes:

I… am so rich that I’ve become poor.

I… have crippled myself with ‘needs’ I failed to view as greed.

I… have taken knowledge and know-how for granted.

I… defined my own worth by selling myself to the first bidder.

Thank you for reading. 

U

First Cake

Art

Over the last few weeks, I’ve attempted [rather poorly] sharing my work on social media. I’ve been going through an odd introvert-phase in addition to the imported posts I’m Ubringing into Route427. It’s a weird growth spurt for me…

With Fall practically here [she says with glare at the sweltering Carolina sun] I’ve been taking in some yarn and making some things. This year is all about learning to make a few things I never have before, so I began with this beautiful triangle scarf from Strings & Things.

Ever the rebel, I did my scarf a little differently. When crocheting, I like for the finished project to be utilitarian, exuding an unassuming beauty, and well-suited to the user. My goals for this particular project were:

  • a ‘blanket scarf’ feel for really cold nights outU
  • a fashionable, utilitarian shawl to pair with some of my favorite outfits on those iffy chilly, but warmish date-nights
  • a small throw for vegging out
  • something to easily wrap a kitten or puppy in; though I suppose a baby could fit, too…

For my scarf, I used 2 full skeins of Mandala Genie by Lion Brand. I found it very pleasant to work with. The scarf came out very warm, the perfect length for what I needed. This was my first ever yarn cake, and I loved every minute of it!! I’ve learned [from other bloggers and yarn reviewers] that some yarn cakes have abrupt color changes. While there were a couple of interesting ones in the scarf, they’re not noticeable, which I greatly appreciated from this pattern.

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Pattern edits I made for myself include:

  • length – mine is about 62 rows instead of the suggested 28
  • no tassels – they’re pretty, but not well suited to me and I have cats
  • at the end, I did a single crochet in each stitch to strengthen the edge a little

If you’re a knitter or a hooker, be sure to drop by the Strings & Things shop to pick up a pattern for your next project!

What do you think of the scarf? And do you have a favorite yarn cake or color to work with?20171002_173340.jpg